When it comes to the spirit realm, we’ve saved the biggest, baddest, weirdest one of all for last: God himself. Today we’re going to talk about how God isn’t like us, doesn’t need us, and yet he wants us.

hi I’m Chuck Mingo and this is week four of spirit realm and I’m at the Cincinnati observatory you know in this series we’ve been talking a lot about weird things angels demons the fact that God listens to us when we talk to him this thing called prayer but we’ve saved the biggest and most weirdest for last cuz today we’re talking about God himself that’s a weird concept that there is a God maybe when we think about God we don’t think about wonder and mystery and things that go bump in the night maybe we just revert to judgment and rules and that’s we’re gonna unpack today come on inside you know this place is dedicated to wonder it’s dedicated to things that are beyond our understanding right I don’t know about you but I know when I was a kid and I got my first telescope man that was an awesome gift and just seeing the moon so close for the first time being able to see stars like I had never seen them before it was unbelievable I’ve always had a fascination for space and you know what my kids love this place I love bringing them too because they also just get fascinated when they think about the vastness of what’s here and who wouldn’t love this place I mean look at this telescope this is this is so amazing you know every time I come there’s always way too much of a crowd for me to get to play with this thing myself but my goodness this telescope is huge and yet even this telescope can’t capture the vastness of space right we’re learning more and more all the time about the universe and maybe the potential expansion of the universe it’s just unbelievable stuff that is far beyond me but I love coming here you know what I love that moment when you see something you’re just like and I love that that happens with my kids you know here’s the thing when it comes to space we just have to be willing to suspend our understanding just to understand there are things we won’t understand you know we’re in this series spirit realm and we’re recognizing there’s a realm beyond the physical and it’s good there are things there that we’re invited to be a part of and man probably the biggest mystery of all like we said is God himself and here’s a crazy one here’s a weird thing that the Bible says of God that he is one being but three distinct persons that’s weird that is really weird and yet there’s something there about relationship that God invites us into hey let me just stop and say you may not even believe there’s a God let alone one God and you may not believe that there’s a God and if that’s the case you’re in the right place I’m really excited you’re here and I think there’s something in you that can connect today because even if you don’t believe there’s a god my guess is you’ve stood on the shore of a beach at the ocean and you’ve looked out and saw the vastness and it evoked a response in you that you’ve been maybe looking over a canyon or you’ve been on a mountain or you’ve been somewhere where you saw something that made you say man there’s something bigger here and I think not only did you want to believe there’s something bigger but you want to believe that you’re invited to be a part of it I think all of us even if we don’t believe in God want to Albert Magnus put it this way surely the most deeply rooted need of the human soul its purest aspiration is for the closest possible union with God so here’s what I’m learning the Trinity is a part of how God wants to invite us to not just recognize his bigness but to be a part of it you know the Trinity is something we see all throughout the Bible let me give you one place where it shows up very very clearly when Jesus gets baptized in Matthew 3:16 through 17 it says and when Jesus was baptized immediately he went up from the water and behold the heavens were open to him and I want you to begin to count the number of characters in this story so we have Jesus being baptized and then it says and he saw the Spirit of God capital s capital G descending like a dove and coming to rest on him and behold a voice from heaven said this is my beloved son with whom I am well pleased so let’s unpack there are three characters in what I just read right we’ve got Jesus who the Bible says was God in human form being baptized God in physical form but then there’s also a spirit of God capital S and capital G that’s descending like a dove and then we see the voice of God we hear that the voice of God God the Father is saying this is my son whom I love and with him I’m well pleased man that’s crazy it’s weird here’s what I think God is revealing to us in this in this passage he’s saying that God himself God exists in community that God is in relationship outside of any relationship he has with humanity or with anything that he made and I think that underneath that is an invitation and it’s an invitation for you and I to not just be in all and wonder of God’s relationship but we’re actually invited to participate I know this is like proof a lot to throw at you God if there is a God right and then what the Bible says about this God is he’s one being but he exists as three distinct persons God the Father God the Son God the Holy Spirit man this is a lot it’s hard to understand I don’t know that we can fully understand it and and one of the things I’m learning is I need to leave room for mystery I mean if there is a God and he’s bigger than me and at some point I hit the limits of my comprehension and I hit the limits of my understanding we see this in the Bible that the writers in the Bible don’t have God figured out they don’t have all the answers Paul a guy that wrote more than two-thirds of the New Testament over and over again there’s these places where he says I’m talking to you about a mystery you know what he’s saying there this is something I can’t get and when we see that word mystery in the Bible what it means is it’s something that we can’t grasp in our human knowledge and yet God has communicated it to us through the Bible through what the Bible would say is revelation because he wants us to understand him through it that’s what a mystery is and let me tell you one God is holy that’s a mystery God is holy you know when we think about that we’re holy we might say oh that person thinks they’re holier than now right but in the Bible when we see the word holy it’s scribing the utter other nosov god it’s the fact that god is not like you he’s not like me he’s not like anything you’ve ever seen in creation he is greater than anything that you can cook up there’s no fiction writer who’s written a character that approaches the other ‘no sully and yet god wants us to know that he is holy and so over over in the bible we see him revealing aspects pictures of his holiness to try to wrap our minds around it as best we can one of my favorites actually shows up in the Old Testament where God reveals his holiness to one of his prophets a guy named Isaiah this is what Isaiah saw in a vision Isaiah 6:1 through 4 in the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne high and lifted up and the Train of his robe filled the temple above him stood the Seraphim Seraphim are angels each had six wings to with which he covered his face and with two he covered his feet and with two he flew and one called to another and said holy holy holy is the Lord of hosts the whole earth is full of his glory man that is weird you want to talk about a bad trip you want to talk about some hallucination that is weird first of all we’ve got God depicted as a king on a throne and he says that you know the Train of his robe filled the temple if you’ve ever seen a royal wedding or anything like that you know the longer the Train of the robe it tells something about the royalty of the person who’s involved in the ceremony and that’s what we see here is that God is a king who is greater than anything and then there are these crazy characters these creatures that are in this story Seraphim who are angels with six wings not two like we typically depict angels in pictures no six wings two with which they cover their feet two with which they hover and fly into that just cover their eyes why because this being this God that is holy is so great they can’t even bear to look upon him that’s how bright he is that’s how amazing he is and God chooses to show Isaiah this picture why because God was trying to communicate just how other he is from anything Isaiah could imagine just how great he is can you imagine if this thing I serif them think about it in your mind if it showed up on the side of your bed you freaked out I would too and yet these Seraphim are small characters who do nothing all day but worship the greater character in the story God by saying over and over again he’s holy he’s holy he’s other than God is holy and guess what God doesn’t need us because he’s holy because he has community because he exists in the community of the Trinity God doesn’t need us at all if the Trinity shows us anything it shows us that God has enough community in his life to keep him covered for the rest of eternity one of the best books I’ve read this year was a book by a guy named C Baxter Kruger and it’s on the Trinity by the way this is a guy that makes fishing lures for a living but he also writes some incredible words about God’s community God’s Trinity and this is what he says he says the life that God lives his father son and spirit is not boring and sad and lonely there is no emptiness in this circle of Trinity no depression fear or angst the Trinitarian life is a life of Unchained fellowship and intimacy fired by passionate self giving love and mutual delight such love giving rise to such togetherness and fellowship overflows an unbounded joy and infinite creativity and unimaginable goodness man that’s a lot of words I know you know what that’s a man trying to describe a mystery the mystery simply put is that God is a party God is complete in and of himself he’s got enough love he’s got enough joy he laughs all the time every day is a good day God is always in a good mood he doesn’t need us so the question is if God doesn’t need us why does he choose to reveal himself to us now I know what you’re thinking great Chuck Thanks all you’ve done so far is tell me what I’d thought or maybe believe before I came in if there is a God he’s nothing like me and he doesn’t need me way to make me feel special in the universe hold on slow down slow down you know in this series we’ve been talking about things that are beyond our human comprehension angels demons the fact that there’s a spirit realm that there are things that we can’t see that are as real as what we can see but can I just suggest that the wonder of all of it might just be that even though there is this spirit realm even though there are things beyond what we can imagine that the most wonderful thing is that behind it all as a creator behind it all is an ultimate ruler behind it all is a holy God who yes you’re right is nothing like you and yes you’re right does not need you but once you he wants relationship with you he wants relationship with me the God who made the Stars numbered the hairs on your head the God who created nebula and universes upon universes knit you together in your mother’s womb and while you were in rebellion against him or maybe skeptical of his existence before you ever said I trust you you might be in that place now or you haven’t yet said that about God know that he sent His Son Jesus you you may not know much Bible but if you have seen any of the Bible you’ve probably seen this one John 3:16 says God that God that vast holy God that he loved the world so much that He gave His only Son his son that was a part of the divine dance of love and joy the party that he gave that son and he loved us so much that he gave us His only Son that whoever would believe in him would not perish but would have ever lasting life eternal life fullness of life that we would get to be a part of what God has been a part of ever since the beginning of time you know the early thinkers and writers and leaders of the Bible they struggled to find a word to describe the mystery of the Trinity they struggled and because the Bible grew up really the church grew up in a Greek context in many ways their best guess was to use this word that in essence means the great dance so when we see the word for Trinity used in the early church it’s the word that means the great dance because the best picture they could think of is this is what happens at every Greek wedding if you’ve ever been to a Greek wedding or you’ve seen a Greek Wedding there’s this dance that happens where they’re circles upon circles of people that start to dance together and while there are distinct persons in that circle the rhythm becomes so unified they’re so in unison that over time it looks like one thing and they said that’s the closest we can get to the great dance that is God that is the Father the Son and Holy Spirit and here’s the beautiful thing God invites you and I into that dance I had to I had to go back in the scrapbook for this picture this is about circa 1995 and this is my then girlfriend now wife Maria I don’t know what you think about that picture but I think that girl is pretty darn hot if you think that don’t tell me that cuz she’s my wife but I’m just telling you she was beautiful and here’s how this happened for me second year of college and you know like most college kids I’m kind of insecure I’m trying to figure out who I am and the words started kind of buzzing around campus that there was a new girl on campus and that she was pretty pretty beautiful and I I finally saw her and it was Maria and I’m like man she is beautiful right and let me tell you every guy at Duquesne University in 1995 that I knew wanted to date my girlfriend they wanted to date her when she wasn’t my girlfriend yet but they wanted to date her and can you imagine how it felt when one day she came to me and she invited me to the winter dance that’s what that pictures of that’s Maria and I at our first dance together man I don’t know what you think about me I may not be anybody’s catch but she is and to think that this girl wanted to date me she wanted to take me to the dance man I was blown away maybe in a level that I didn’t understand in 1995 some wise part of Chuck said you better stick with her and you’re gonna marry her cuz this is a good thing if that’s true for my wife can you imagine how amazing it is to think that the creator of everything the God who made heaven and earth and angels and all that we see around us the God who created the stars that he’s inviting you and I to the dance Oh friends that’s wonderful that is what the spirit realm invites us into into a relationship with the creator of it all maybe you’ve never received that relationship you know the Bible also says that for all who received Jesus for those who believed in his name God invites them to become the children of God to join the family of God I don’t give you an opportunity to do that right now if you have never received Jesus as the way into the divine dance as the way into the great dance I want to invite you to do that right now it doesn’t mean that all your questions have been answered it doesn’t mean that all of this makes sense in your human mind it’s a step of faith and if you’re willing to take that step of faith you can simply pray this prayer after me you say Jesus I receive you and I want relationship with you even though I may not fully understand what that means but I’m willing to take a step I’m willing to trust you and I open my life up to you to receive you to receive the life you have for me to enter into the dance of relationship with you amen we just tell you if you prayed that prayer for the first time it doesn’t mean that everything in your life is gonna make sense right away it doesn’t mean that you know I’ve been following Jesus for a long time and I’ll just tell you in many ways the longer I follow Jesus the more complicated it gets we talked about prayer there was a time in my life when I would pray and it looked like I just opened to a random Bible verse and it was exactly what I needed to hear was the answer to my prayer that rarely if ever happens for me anymore I have more questions and answers right now in my life there’s a lot of things I’m asking God for clarity on and I don’t have that clarity but I tell you what I do know I know he wants me I know he loves me and I know I can trust him even when I don’t understand so I want to talk to you if maybe you said yes to Jesus but right now is a season of your life of struggle it’s a season of struggling with the mystery of following God maybe because of some painful thing that you’re going through right now maybe like me you’re just you’re not finding answers to all the questions that you’re asking I just want to encourage you I want to encourage you that as you lean into this relationship with a holy God know that he loves you and know that you can trust him even when you can’t understand exactly where you’re headed I think it’s one of the reasons why singing songs together is so powerful songs have a way of putting words to mystery I don’t know if it’s the harmony or the melody or repeating phrases but there’s something about a song that helps me grasp things feel things connect to things that I don’t fully understand in my intellectual mind so we’re gonna do that right now and we’re gonna end our time singing truths and mysteries about the God who pursues us

Jun 30, 2018 57 mins 52 sec

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